On this day in legal history, President Richard Milhouse Nixon announced his resignation of the office of the presidency, effective the following day at noon.
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon addressed the American public from the Oval Office to announce his resignation, marking the end of the infamous Watergate scandal. This scandal began with a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972, followed by the Nixon administration's attempts to cover up its involvement. The Watergate saga eroded Nixon's popular and political support, leading him to the brink of almost certain impeachment. In his speech, Nixon explained that he was resigning due to a lack of congressional support, believing this would hasten the healing process in America. He expressed regret for his wrong judgments but did not mention the pending articles of impeachment. On August 9, he submitted his formal resignation to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, becoming the only U.S. president to ever resign from office. Vice President Gerald Ford succeeded him, stepping into the presidency.
The Ninth Circuit Court has overturned a decision upholding Hawaii's butterfly knife ban, ruling that the ban violates the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms. The court reversed a summary judgment favoring state officials and instructed the lower court to continue proceedings in line with its determination. Judge Carlos T. Bea noted that butterfly knives, whose blades unfold manually from a split handle, are typically owned for lawful purposes. State officials argued that the ban was similar to statutes dating back to 1837 regulating other bladed weapons, but the court pointed out that Hawaii hadn’t banned any type of pocketknife categorically. The ban on carrying butterfly knives was first imposed in 1993, extending to manufacturing, selling, and possessing them in the state. Various groups filed amicus briefs for and against the rule, reflecting a broader debate on weapon regulations. The case, known as Teter v. Lopez, represents a significant ruling on knife rights and the interpretation of the Second Amendment.
New Jersey is escalating its fight against New York's remote-work tax rules, seeking a legal confrontation. The state spends over $2 billion annually, crediting residents for income taxes paid to other states due to employer locations, mostly relating to New York jobs. Since the pandemic and the shift to remote work, the situation has been under closer examination, with New Jersey's credited amounts rising significantly. New York's "convenience of the employer" rule, which taxes residents working in their home states, is at the center of this dispute. New Jersey has now implemented a law to incentivize challenges to this rule and shift some employer dynamics to keep taxes within the state. However, legal experts believe that residents' challenges to New York's application of this rule may face an uphill battle, as the rule has been enshrined in New York law for over 35 years. While the law aims to replace some of the revenue New Jersey loses to New York and send a message about the tax issues between the two states, the real economic impact might be limited. The situation highlights the complexities of taxation in the remote work era and the potential legal battles that could arise between states.
A federal appeals court has blocked a rule from the Biden administration that would make it easier for students defrauded by their schools to have their loans forgiven. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency injunction at the request of a group representing for-profit colleges, known as Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST), halting the rule's implementation pending an appeal in November. The three-judge panel did not provide a reason for granting the injunction. CCST sued in February after the Education Department's new rule was finalized, offering greater grounds for borrowers to seek debt relief in cases of fraud and establishing a procedure for debt forgiveness in groups of students. This rule is separate from President Biden's broader student debt relief plan, which the Supreme Court blocked in June. The Education Department stated that it is reviewing the court's order and will continue its efforts against predatory colleges. CCST described the rule as unlawful and unconstitutional, aiming for massive loan forgiveness and reallocating financial liability to higher education institutions.
Kenneth Polite, the outgoing head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, has revealed that more significant corporate settlements are coming soon. In an exit interview, Polite stated that there is a "very strong pipeline of investigations" that will result in resolutions in the near future, some of which were impacted by the COVID pandemic. The resolutions often involve substantial fines that companies pay to settle criminal charges such as foreign bribery or money laundering. In 2022, there were seven global resolutions, with the DOJ involved in penalties totaling $2.14 billion. Polite also mentioned that the recent corporate investigations have involved "much larger schemes and activities," including groundbreaking joint resolutions with countries like South Africa and Switzerland. He has overseen policy changes aimed at better policing corporate misconduct, including a new pilot program to decrease fines for companies if they recover compensation from individual wrongdoers. Polite will join the law firm Sidley Austin in October, where he is expected to be "instrumental" in helping clients navigate the department's new policies.